Niagara Falls Schools In Bloom Program
Each year, the City of Niagara Falls Park in the City Committee and the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture organize the Niagara Falls Schools In Bloom Program. This program gives elementary schools across the city the opportunity to participate in rewarding activities to landscape and beautify their schoolyard areas, while continuing to learn about horticulture and the environment.
Ultimately, the purpose of the Niagara Falls Schools In Bloom program is to educate, cultivate and participate: Educating students about the exciting world of horticulture, cultivating not only gardens but friendships as well and participating in the improvement of our school environments and our community as a whole. For the most part, projects are student driven. As a result, students develop a sense of pride and ownership for their school and work. At the same time, they are taught responsibility, perseverance, teamwork and respect for the environment; skills which are truly essential to their personal and professional development. Presently, the Niagara Falls Schools In Bloom program involves Niagara Falls elementary schools who have committed to the project.
How does it work?
All City of Niagara Falls elementary schools have an opportunity to apply online to participate. An online submission must be completed in order to be accepted into the program. The online form will request information on your school and why you want to be part of the program. The program submission process is competitive for entry as space is limited. Only 5 applications will be accepted into the program annually with a priority given to schools who have not participated in the past that also meet the program requirements. Please keep in mind, that the intent of the program is to further student learning in the world of horticulture. It is not to be viewed as an additional funding outlet to beautify the school surroundings. All projects are to involve student input and implementation. Projects are set annually by the Park in the City Committee and will be the same for each participating school. A theme will be established prior to the planting season so schools can determine whether they want to participate with that specific theme (eg. pollinator gardening, tree planting, etc..)
Once you have completed the online application, it will then be reviewed by the Schools In Bloom Committee. If approved, you will be notified by City Staff of your school's accepance into the program and sent a program package. If not approved, you will be notified by City Staff and are able to resubmit for the next year with priority given to schools who have not been accepted from the previous year. Donated materials for the projects will be administered by the Park in the City Committee as schools will not be responsible for any handling of funds. Schools will receive support from the Schools In Bloom Committee Volunteer Liaisons who will advise on the "how to" for project details with a hands-on workshop conducted at each school prior to the planting season. Liaisons will assist you throughout the process to ensure your project is successful.
The next step is to establish a team made up of students and volunteers to help with your project. Your assigned Schools In Bloom Committee Volunteer Liaison will be available for you to ask questions along the way. The idea is to have your project completed by early June. The Committee will come to your school in September for a short visit to see what you have accomplished.
School Projects for 2020 - Pollinator Gardens
Each year the Schools In Bloom program will have a different themed project for schools to participate in. For 2020, schools will have an opportunity to research, plan and install a pollinator garden on their school yard. The recommended size of a standard pollinator garden for the program purposes is roughly 150 square feet. Tools to conduct the install and plant material will be provided by the program partners. An initial indoor workshop will take place during a convenient time between each school and the program Liaisons to review expectations during the install, how to choose the appropriate plant material, planting techniques and other resourceful information. NOTE: It is the responsibility of each school to acquire permission from the board level to install a garden on school property. This is a requirement. This question will again appear on the program application.
What's a Pollinator Garden?....
A Pollinator Garden is a garden planted predominently with flowers that provide nectar or pollen for a range of pollinating insects. The garden can be any size. You might only have a balcony or a small yard, but you are able to plant pollinator-friendly flowers there. You can also add in other flower types that you like for various reasons, but the majority should be pollinator plants to support the eco system. Note: Consider adding a "Bee Hotel" to compliment your pollinator garden.
Registering Your School for 2020
Registration for the program is now open. Please click here to complete your application submission. When preparing to submit, ensure you have the following information available:
- Primary and Secondary contact Information.
- Principal Information.
- Number of students participating.
- Location where the project will take place.
- Why the project with benefit the school.
For questions in regard to the 2020 application, please email Jeff Guarasci or call 905-356-7521 ext.3341.
Online Registration Deadline: Friday, February 28, 2020 by 4:00 p.m.
Schools In Bloom Committee Application Assessments: Wednesday, March 11, 2020.
Confirmation Announcements: Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
NOTE: Annually, the program is funding dependent. All schools will be invited by mail to apply in early January of 2020. Invitations will be sent directly to each school Principal. All elementary schools with the City of Niagara Falls from all 4 boards will be invited to participate.
Timeline of Program
- Invitation to particpate letter to be sent to each elementary school in Niagara Falls - January 13, 2020.
- Deadline for schools to submit their application online - February 28, 2020.
- Notices of application outcome sent to schools either by email or phone - March 18, 2020.
- School leads to receive program package via email (This will include a scheduled follow-up phone call) - March 19, 2020.
- School lead and Niagara Parks School of Horticulture lead to connect to schedule a date to conduct a workshop at each school - TBD.
- School lead and Niagara Parks School of Horticulture lead to connect to schedule a installation date at each school - TBD (Note, must be completed prior to the end of the semester).
Current Program Partners
- The Park in the City Committee
- Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture
Lead Program Sponsor
- Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc.
- Niagara Falls Horticultural Society
- Niagara Community Foundation
- Gauld Nurseries
- Walker Environmental Group
- Land Care Niagara
- City of Niagara Falls
Have A Question?
We are here to ensure you have all the answers you need to implement a successful project. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 905-356-7521 ext.3341 or send us an email.